Running into someone who has shared their loss story.

Written by: Nina Pleshe

As a woman who has run and built a business using social media as a tool to create community, I have always shared much of my personal life alongside my business. Those in the community have watched me start a small business as a mama of 1, and throughout the journey growing, moving, and becoming a mama of 4 earthside. I remember when I was on the brink of announcing my 5th pregnancy. We had heard the heartbeat, and made it passed 9 weeks. When I experienced my 10 week missed miscarriage I remember devastation on so many levels. As I processed the loss and healed I remember feeling like I could not authentically run my business and just move on or go back to a sense of normal, without ever sharing my precious baby. I had shared so much and never wanted it to be a highlight reel. So with hands shaking and a pit in my stomach, I shared my story along with a photo of my baby’s hand. I sobbed, questioned if I should have been so open, and contemplated deleting it many times. I felt sick even having to verbalize it but I realized as I typed it was so helpful to put in black and white. It was this outpouring of my heart that would have hurt even more to keep inside and stuff down. The love, support, and connection with other women was so helpful during such a dark and confusing time when I clung to my faith.

One thing that has been so eye opening after experiencing loss is hearing stories from other generations. So many were told to never talk of their loss. For others there was so much shame and stigma surrounding loss that talking about it just never happened. There is so much pain from those times and healing yet to happen.

I am so thankful for being able to share my story, even though the heartbreak still comes in waves. What I really want to share though, is that you have no idea where someone is within their healing journey. For most women who talk about or share their loss in public ways like social media, it is still VERY hard to talk about in person or at random times. I want to give a gentle reminder that just because someone has talked about their loss in a public way, be very gentle or careful just bringing it up when you see them out and about. Some women are at a healing stage where they want to talk about their baby, say his/her name, and keep their memory alive that way. Others may be blindsided if you bring it up while running into them at church, the grocery store, or at parent pickup. Unless you know them well enough to know how they are doing, it is best to simply be there. Have normal conversation, or pass along a compliment to brighten their day. Bringing up their loss, details of their loss, or a post you may have read could be really hard for them even if well intentioned and caring. It has been 2 years since my loss and now after doing a lot of healing, I am ready and always open to talking about my loss. For others/someone you may not know well, just be gentle, and find ways to show love and care without bringing up their loss/losses. We walk alongside women/parents of loss every day so giving grace more freely helps everyone make their progress in healing. Feel free to share your comments below.

Love + light always, Nina

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